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Some Courageous Persons Do Step Forward

by Oui Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 07:30:10 AM EST

On the eve of remembering the victims of the great World War fought against appression and occupation of a fascist Nazi regime of Germany from 1939-1945 across Europe, North Africa, Near East and from Japanese cruelty in the Great Pacific and Asean nations. Let's not forget the victims of our own deeds by the Western nations after 9/11 and the extreme overreaction to invade and occupy Iraq.

Dutch preparing for May 4th War Remembrance across the nation

I myself will not take part in these festivities as the 5th of May will celebrate our freedom and the defeat of Nazi Germany. This year's PR campaign about the 4th and 5th has too many Nationalistic tendencies and no reckoming of our own fallacies as we speak of the past. The Dutch have a colonial past in the Caribbean, South America, South Africa and the Indonesian archipelago.

Very unfortunately under the Barack Obama administration and NATO partners followed with regime change in Libya and Syria. Now under Trump, the steps are set with last ally in the Middle East, the Jewish State of Israel, to threaten and suppress the independent and sovereign Islamic State of Iran. Of course in conjunction with another terror state run by Crown Prince Salman of Saudi Arabia.

I have no tolerance on racist or xenophobic views from any side, especially from leaders who are so deeply involved in the Middle East divide they should act responsibly and know the issues at hand - Palestinian leader Abbas in his recent speech.

Iraq's Shoe Thrower Muntazer Zaidi | The Guardian Opinion - 2009 |

Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.

We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.

Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.

I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

The opportunity came, and I took it.


So in the end, after all the suffering and displacement of millions and leading to the terror of al-Qaeda in the Levant (Syria), a sparkle of hope ...

Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at George Bush launches election bid | The National |

Muntazer Al Zaidi is running in Iraq's forthcoming elections for a parliamentary seat under the list of Sa'eroun, a political alliance formed of six parties, he promises the public to combat corruption and to promote greater integrity, transparency and good governance.

"By running for elections I pledge to ensure that America's mistakes are amended - their mistakes created a corrupt sectarian government", Mr Al Zaidi told The National by phone.

Mr Al Zaidi's bloc is advocating for a democratic pluralistic state that aims to put an end to corruption in government. Iraq, long beset by allegations of corruption at all levels of government, was ranked 166th out of 176 in the 2017 corruption index released by Transparency International, a Germany-based corruption watchdog, in 2017.

"I intend to push for a law that discloses Iraqis' offshore bank accounts as well as their properties", he said, adding that his party will take further action to open an investigation that "will confiscate all their fortune for the benefit of the Iraqi treasury".

Mr Al Zaidi will compete against nearly 7,000 candidates for 329 seats in the general election on May 12 - the first since 2014 and Iraq's fourth since 2003.

DW Freedom of Speech Award 2018 goes to Sadegh Zibakalam

Iranian political scientist Sadegh Zibakalam faces prison for remarks he made in a DW interview. The German broadcaster has decided to honor his courageous criticism of the Iranian government with an award.

"I think my crime is that, during an interview with Deutsche Welle, I gave a political opinion which was contrary to the government's opinion," said Sadegh Zibakalam. "When the government says that the unrest was ordered by enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the government expects that everyone follows suit and repeats that opinion."

Threatened by a 'social ban'

But Sadegh Zibakalam didn't do that. In January, the well-known Iranian political scientist spoke to Deutsche Welle's Persian program about the unrest in Iran at a time when tens of thousands of Iranians were taking to the streets to protest against Tehran's economic policies and the entire political establishment. Zibakalam showed sympathy for the demonstrators and contradicted the government's accusations. "I said that it was organized by the Iranian people. It wasn't influenced by anyone outside Iran. No foreign power had any hand in it."

U.S. intervention in overthrow of Mossadeq in 1953 - support for terror group MEK - support for terror group Jundullah inside Iran from Balochistan, Pakistan.

Shah and Secret Ties With Jewish State (Mossad)
Giulliani As Devil's Advocate In Israel

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 08:54:12 AM EST
War reporters -- the great silence

Journalism is increasingly a "suicide mission," with foreign correspondents in places like Syria and Yemen the victims of warring factions. And so, others are stepping into the void.

Anyone reporting from Syria has long been a potential target of the warring factions in a conflict that has been dragging on for seven years. Independent journalists are kidnapped and murdered. Few are released. The Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff and the Japanese national Kenji Goto are maybe the most well-known of the many foreign journalists kidnapped in Syria and then brutally murdered. All three of them were beheaded, the videos of their gruesome ordeal posted on Youtube and Twitter by the "Islamic State."

 « click for info Marquette honor »

For the extremist group, these executions are a bloody propaganda, for others, kidnappings are a lucrative business, which promises vast sums of ransom money.

War fatigue?

Duma isn't the only blind spot on the Syrian map. Durm points to Idlib, a province in northern Syria, where jihadi forces are gathering. The long-time war correspondent is convinced that Syria's last battle will be fought in Idlib, probably in the coming months. But: "It's impossible for foreign journalists to go to Idlib to experience the catastrophic situation there."Macron: Assad regime used chemical weapons on Douma

It's up to people like Husam to step in. He knows he might pay a high price for his work, but he continues. Why? His response is almost immediate: "The goal of my work is to convey the voice of the Syrian revolution and the suffering of the Syrian people and deliver it to Western society."

Reporters without Borders - Afghanistan
Deadly attack by U.S. Forces on MSF hospital in Kunduz

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 09:20:20 AM EST
No more words ... no more tears to shed. Why should I still mourn the dead of over 70 years ago? The personal story does touch me as it reminds me of my parents and the early pictures in my memory of the aftermath of Nazi occupation and the destruction wrought by war. This is just a single woman, victimized in a small village Vrouwenpolder in the province of Zeeland. Not the loss of her young husband as she was pregnant with son Jan, but the religious intolerance of fundamental Reformed Protestant neighbours and church preachers had made her life and of her three children unbearable. This is just a single story, tens of millions are similar and not heard anymore ...

Jan died in German Camp Neuengamme,  why Maria de Visser never broke her silence

Slain Afghan journalists remembered on World Press Freedom Day | Dawn - Pakistan |

 « click for more info
Afghanistan's slain journalists were remembered on World Press Freedom Day

Ten journalists, including Agence France-Presse (AFP) chief photographer Shah Marai, were killed in assaults on April 30th, underscoring the dangers faced by the media as the war-torn country slips deeper into violence.

"Afghanistan's journalists are among the bravest in the world," said Omar Waraich, Amnesty International's deputy director for South Asia.

"Working in some of the most difficult conditions, they have faced threats, intimidation and violence for simply doing their jobs."

A double suicide blast in Kabul, claimed by the Islamic State group, left 25 people dead including Marai and eight other journalists, while a BBC reporter was killed in a separate attack in eastern Khost province.

Media workers from Tolo News, 1TV, Radio Free Europe and Mashal TV were also among the dead in Kabul.

Pentagon: 'Kinetic Strike' Kills Khorassan Leader in Syria - 2015
Battle for Kunduz: The Taliban Erases Western Gains in Afghanistan | Der Spiegel - Oct.2016 |
Afghanistan: 63 dead in attacks on voter registration centres | Al Jazeera - April 22, 2018 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 09:58:33 AM EST
Palestinian leader Abbas offers apology for remarks on Jews | Arab News |

Ramallah - Palestinian Territory: President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday offered an apology after he was criticized for anti-Semitism for suggesting that historic persecution of European Jews had been caused by their conduct, not by their religion.

Abbas condemned anti-Semitism and called the Holocaust the "most heinous crime in history" in a statement issued by his office in Ramallah after a four-day meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), at which he had made the remarks.

"If people were offended by my statement in front of the PNC, especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them," Abbas said in the statement.

"I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths."

Abbas, 82, was excoriated by Israeli and Jewish leaders and diplomats who accused him of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial for his remarks on Monday during his opening speech to the PNC, the de facto parliament of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In a lengthy section about history, he said that Jews living in Europe had suffered massacres "every 10 to 15 years in some country since the 11th century and until the Holocaust."

Abbas apologizes to Jews 'if they were offended' by anti-Semitic remarks | Ynet News |

The Khazar Kingdom, Abbas said, eventually collapsed and its subjects spread throughout Europe. Those subjects, Abbas asserted, are the Ashkenazi Jews.

"They have no relationship to Semitic culture, Abraham, Jacob and others," Abbas claimed.

He also compared the treatment of European Jews to that of Jews who lived in Arab nations, saying the latter never suffered from persecution in the 1,400 years they lived there.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov called Abbas' comments "deeply disturbing".

President Reuven Rivlin questioned how Abbas could be considered a legitimate peace partner in light of his speech.

"How can a leader who expresses such dark anti-Semitic ideas present himself as a partner in peace?" Rivlin asked during a state visit to Ethiopia.

The European Union's foreign service also condemned Abbas's "unacceptable" remarks, echoing criticism by PM Benjamin Netanyahu. US officials also condemned on Tuesday night Abbas's speech.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 4th, 2018 at 01:27:35 PM EST

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